The celebration of the 49th year of ASEAN takes place in Pretoria, South Africa on August 4 with seven ASEAN ambassadors in attendance. (Photo: baoquocte.vn)

Pretoria (VNA) – The ASEAN Pretoria Committee (APC) held a ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa on August 4 to celebrate the 49th founding anniversary of ASEAN.

The celebration took place with the coordination of the embassies of Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

In his remarks at the event, Thai Ambassador Pornchai Danvivathana, who is also Chair of the APC, briefed guests on ASEAN’s development over the past five decades.

The ten ASEAN member states have worked towards a well-connected bloc in politics and economics, he said, adding that they have enhanced cooperation with partner countries through a variety of ASEAN-led mechanisms.

ASEAN plays a central role in addressing regional security issues, notably in the East Sea, by pursuing peaceful resolutions in accordance with international law, the ambassador stressed.

Danvivathana hailed the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community last year as an important milestone for regional connectivity that shows the grouping’s commitment to building a common market of more than 620 million people.

He also highly spoke of multi-faceted cooperation between ASEAN and South Africa, particularly in two-way trade which was estimated at more than 7.7 billion USD.

The APC Chairman affirmed that ASEAN wants to develop relations with South Africa and its neighbours with a focus on trade and investment.

Congratulating ASEAN on its 49th year, the South African side welcomed ASEAN’s activities in the country and exchanged ideas with ASEAN ambassadors on how to boost relations.-VNA